Unique opportunity lies with Keselowski this weekend at Homestead

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By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

While this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway is meant to be a time to crown new NASCAR national series, the time will be bittersweet for some.

In August, Brad Keselowski and Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) announced that they would be ceasing operations after the 2017 season. The reason why the team closed is to prep for a potential to move up in the ranks of NASCAR.

BKR fields drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe. Drivers such as Daniel Hemric and Tyler Reddick have come through the ranks of BKR and moved onto the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

This weekend, BKR had the opportunity to win their first championship as an organization with Cindric. Cindric feels that being the underdog this weekend will be beneficial in winning the organization’s first driver’s championship.

“I am racing against three of the best guys in the Truck series. The pressure to perform isn’t overly high. I don’t think anyone anticipates us to win the championship, which I love. That means we are the underdog. Being the underdog is an interesting position to be in because I can do, try and do everything in my power to make sure that championship happens,” said Cindric.

The 19-year old driver is grateful that Keselowski gave him the opportunity and wants to go down this weekend without a fight for the championship.

“To be able to say I have a shot is a cool thing. It’s the biggest opportunity of my career. We will go out with guns a blazing and driving with a tongue hanging out, laying my guts on the racetrack seeing what we got.”

With Cindric making the championship four, Keselowski will join Kyle Busch in having played a role in championship battles across all three series. With Keselowski racing for a driver’s championship in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and being the team owner for Cindric in Trucks, his role in the NASCAR XFINITY Series will come in the form of the owner’s championship.

In the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Keselowski had a role in the No. 22 entry fighting for an owner’s championship for Roger Penske. In nine races, Keselowski posted two wins, seven top-fives and nine top-10 finishes.

The opportunity to have won a championship in one weekend across all three national series would be history making. Keselowski knows how special it would mean to win all three.

“It’s interesting. Kyle and I both have an opportunity to play a role in winning all three championships this weekend, with ownership at the truck level competing, and XFINITY level for the Owners Championship with what we’ve done cumulatively throughout the season, and then the Cup Championship.  So it would really, really be special to win all three. I don’t think anyone’s ever won all three championships or played a role in winning all three championships in a season.  We both have that opportunity,” said Keselowski.

As for the Truck title, Keselowski feels that it will be a tough fight for Cindric being in his rookie season.

“It will be tough for Austin, without a doubt.  He’s still in his rookie season, and I think he deserves a lot of credit for making it as far as he has.”

If Cindric is able to score the championship against Johnny Sauter, Christopher Bell, and Matt Crafton, it would be a fitting way for BKR to go out, according to Keselowski.

“But if he were able to do it, gosh, it would ‑‑ I couldn’t think of a better way to go out.  I’d feel like Matt Kenseth last week at Phoenix as an owner, for sure.”

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